Sunday, March 29, 2009

Park Day

Such a pretty day today. Summertime was definitely calling us......

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I needed a hug and God gave me one!

Well, this day started with a major downer. I finally took Kate to the dentist. We would have gone earlier, but we thought it was important to get the surgery and recovery behind us before taking on anything else. We suspected that she had a broken tooth with a cavity in it, but we were wrong. She has 4 teeth with cavities!!! Three have huge ones. UGH!!! This outcome means more doctors , more pain ,and more money. UGH again!!! So, if our second opinion agrees, next Thursday Kate has a date with a drill. Anyway, i thought i was handling the news fairly well( by God's grace) but my emotions were much closer to the surface than i realized. Between a visit to the pediatrician for a suspected sinus infection (yes, that makes 2 doctors in 1 day) and a trip to Target's pharmacy for an antibiotic for the sinus infection, Kate and i stopped by a local children's consignment shop just for the fun of it. While i was looking through clothes and Kate was tooling around with one of those toys that sings while you role it, I met a woman shopping for her granddaughter. We struck up a conversation and she commented on Kate. I told her that Kate was adopted and she shared that she had a grown daughter who was also adopted. She made the comment that adopting Kate had undoubtedly changed her life in ways we might never know. At that point, with my eyes tearing up despite my best effort to hold tears back, i told her that Kate had already been through major surgery and that i had just found out that she was in for more with her teeth. With a warm hug from her, we talked further and realized that we were related! We were sisters in Christ Jesus:) A few years older and with grown children, she was brimming with Godly counsel and encouragement. She was the hug i needed from the Lord after a hard day (and a hard week). It was one of those times when God whispers, "I have been here all along and i have caught every tear that you have shed over this."
I thank God for this woman and her willingness to serve a perfect stranger.(She reminded me of my mom in this way.) Kate was so enamored with the push toy she had been playing with that the lady bought it for her along with the bathing suit that Kate is sporting in the photo above. It was quite a day, quite a day.....I really needed a hug from God and He was faithful to give me one.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I am only posting this picture because Kate has come such a long way and i wanted to thank everyone who has prayed for her and for me as we journeyed a down a road that neither of us saw coming. We are both better now:)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yeah Kate!!

Just a few more photos from the warm day we had. The more exciting news of the day is that someone (remaining nameless) pooped on the potty today. Yeah !!! Forgot to mention that these photos were taken by my blog assistants, Hunter and Olivia.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Warm and sunny .....

After 4 days of cold rain (did i say days, felt like months), finally some sunshine! We took advantage of it and played at the pond in the neighborhood. Saw some interesting wildlife including a nice-sized copperhead swimming along the edge of the water. Tried to get a picture but it was too elusive . Meanwhile the girls and the dogs played and "fished" and soaked up some vitamin D. The seven of us walking down the street made a nice little parade...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quote for today...

"Love of God is pure when joy and suffering inspire an equal degree of gratitude."

...taken from the blog of Mary Beth Chapman
(thanks Kristin)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Look at you Kate!

This is what happens to Kate when mom isn't looking and her big sisters get ahold of her and a hairbrush. When you are the youngest, everyone wants to dress you up and make you beautiful.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Back to Duke

Today i took Kate back to Duke to have her incision checked. During the hour we were waiting for the Dr. we met another little girl with a lung tumor, a boy with a brain tumor, and another boy undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. It was a lot to take in. I don't know how many more times we will have to return to Duke, but, for the most part ,our time there is almost over. To look around the room and see children with such vicarious health issues and know some have weeks and even months of arranging their lives around the hospital was very sobering . My heart and prayers goes out to all of them and their parents. Some of the parents looked so tired. I hope those families have the hand of Jesus to hold onto during the storms. I think i let go of His hand during the fury of our latest trial with Kate's health. But, He held on tightly to mine ,faithfully. Thank you , Lord. BTW....Kate's incision looks great. Another week and the child can start bathing again :)
PS-Hug your kids tonight and thank your Father in Heaven for their good health.

Those crazy Allen girls....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kate turns 2!

Birthday girl enjoying her cake. Eating some, wearing some...It is good to be the birthday girl!

Unwrapping our gift...

It has been 2 1/2 months now since Kate arrived in the United States and in our family. With all of the hullabaloo surrounding her health and surgery, we have barely had any time to just take a breath and begin to discover who this little girl really is. So, just now scratching the surface, we know that Kate is very quiet and watchful. She is always studying situations. She doesn't say a lot at this point but it may be coming. She has about 50 English words now and will mimic almost anything we say. Although she isn't talking much , she has GREAT lung capacity as she squeals with delight better than any child i know.(Seriously, it is ear-piercing! ) She is very nurturing with her baby dolls. Amazingly attentive for her age. She likes any toy that makes noise. This would explain her enormous affection for her big sister Olivia. She loves to be outside, no matter the weather. She loves loves loves shoes!!! And, believe it or not, she loves to try on clothes and have her hair washed. She is a girl's girl! Favorite foods? yogurt, apples, bananas, cheese and circus peanuts. Foods that come right back out? avocado and milk. Favorite things to do? chase Olivia , have Olivia chase her, play ball, take a bath (or do anything in water), dance , try on shoes. Least favorite things to do? go to bed, finish a meal, sit through church, be told "no". She has a pleasant personality and is sweet natured. Last time Olivia got hurt and shed some tears, Kate actually took a Kleenex and wiped her tears away. I can only think that her foster mom was very tender with her. Anyway, we are thankful to be at a place where we can now take some time to start unwrapping our gift...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What a journey so far....

Well, if someone had told us how the past two months would unfold, we would not have believed it. God delivered us to and from Guatemala safely and then down came the rain. Two days after we arrived back in town, we took Kate to our pediatrician for a checkup. I pointed out to her that there was a small bump on the base of her backbone . Our Doctor sent Kate for an MRI and then we got the news that she would have to have surgery and would be in the hospital for a week flat ,on her back. Unbelievable!!!!! So we prepared the best we could for what seemed surreal. After all, we had been promised a healthy child, hadn't we? In the meantime we also learned that Kate would be wearing glasses to correct a problem in one eye. I worried how I would keep glasses on a 2 yr old along with all the other stressers we were facing. I just prayed. The glasses arrived and Kate put them on and really never took them off. Again unbelievable! Throughout this tumultuous time we had a lot of prayer warriors circle the wagons around us. We are very thankful for all those who hit their knees on our behalf and for all the prayers that lifted us up during that difficult time.